GROTON -- There was cause for optimism at the Feb. 19 meeting of the Groton Public Library Trustees when director Vanessa Abraham presented statistics for library usage made over the last 10 years.
The jump in circulation figures over the last decade indicates that old fashioned reading for education and entertainment is not going out of style any time soon.
"I think it's great," said Abraham of results that showed the number of books read increasing from 16,740 in 2002 to 23,270 in 2008 alone. "The statistics show strong and healthy usage and I'm not surprised to see an increase in electronic downloads as well. That's something that is popular and will only grow in demand."
Other stats included the total number of books, DVDs, and CDs borrowed as having risen from 210,881 in 2002 to 225,363 in 2012.
The size of the library's collection increased to keep pace with demand going from 60,457 items to 79,243 over the same period.
Also increasing dramatically over the years were special events held at the library for adults, young adults, and children along with an accompanying spike in attendance with the most dramatic being those for young adults that went from none in 2002 to 1,725 last year.
Finally, for an area that did not even exist for the library only six years ago, electronic downloading of books on such portable instruments as Kindle, topped 14,775 in 2012 alone.
Expressing satisfaction with the growing numbers, Abraham expected them to continue on an upward curve if and when the library joined the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium that will allow patrons to borrow books and other items from any participating library and return them to any other library.
Key to attracting new patrons to the library, events and programs will remain an important component in plans for the future.
"Those (circulation) numbers should only increase after we join the consortium," said Abraham of the exciting new initiative. "And every year, we also continue to add new programs to our schedule."
The Merrimack Valley Library Consortium already serves 35 local towns and cities providing such electronic services as managing loan of materials, public catalog access, on-line inter-library loans, access to ebooks, and centralized acquisition of cataloging records.
If Groton were to join the consortium, patrons could enjoy the convenience of loaning books from any of the member libraries and returning them to any other.
With visitations from consortium representatives already in progress at the library, Trustees hope to have sign up funds in their budget approved at Town Meeting so that the Groton Public Library can become a member by next September.